Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Palm Beach Social Diary

A group of Ambassadors exit the Trump plane on the tarmac of the Palm Beach International Airport.
Oooohhh baby, it is cold outside! Yeah, I know not like up north, but still we have to bundle up in sweaters and protect the plants as it is freezing by Palm Beach standards. Best way to stay warm is to get out and about, which is no problemo in PB as there is so much going on.
Michele Herbert all bundled up on her morning walk. Plants covered to protect them from the frigid PB weather.
The week kicked off with about a dozen Ambassadors from all over the world flying down from DC for the Red Cross Ball. Donald Trump generously flew them back and forth on his plane and they were being put up at private houses all over the island.

Friday night Michele and Howard Kessler
entertained them all at a seated dinner at their beautiful house which sits grandly directly on the Atlantic Ocean. As it was all for the Red Cross, symbols were everywhere and as you walked up the steps to their house you were greeted by ladies in Red Cross uniforms and even a Red Cross rescue dog.
The Kessler's front door on the evening of their dinner for the Ambassadors, the night preceding the Red Cross Ball. Red Cross German Shepherd at the Kessler's.
The 'Shark' in the Kessler's pool.
Headed out to the pool to find a “shark” “swimming” in it! Yikes, it was so realistic, could have been the star of that scary movie, Jaws. Into dinner, at our table was Ambassador Nancy Brinker, who was getting up the next morning at the crack of dawn as the Race for The Cure in West Palm with thousands of participants.

Nancy, founder of the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of her late sister, just received the nation’s highest civil award, the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. After the race that morning, the group headed to a discussion panel moderated by Senator Bill Nelson with Arturo Sarukan Casamitijana, the Ambassador from Mexico, along with the Ambassadors from Afghanistan and Egypt.
Howard Kessler toasting his wife Michele. Our dinner hostess, Michele Kessler.
Ambassador Nancy Brinker. Eileen Burns and Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.
The florida-themed place settings.
Saturday night back to Mar-A-Lago for the Red Cross Ball which was brilliantly chaired by Michele Kessler, Susan Keenan, and Mary Mochary.
Charles and Clo Cohen. Terry Lundgren.
Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump, and Howard Kessler.
Mei Sze Greene and Jeff Greene.
Mei Sze Greene's fabulous embroidered back.
Senator Bill Nelson. John Mashek and Jeff Greene.
Ambassador Mary Ourisman chatting with Veronica Valencia-Sarukhan, wife of the Mexican Ambassador.
Grace, Chris, and Elizabeth Meigher with Dr. Joel Kassimir.
Congressman Ed Royce, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, and Marie Royce.
The Dell computer in the goodie bags!!
Sunday night we popped into Jane Ylvisaker’s lovely house to greet her British pals over for the art fair. The following Tuesday night brought the American International Art Fair with big time dealers from all over the place with their treasures on display.
Jane Ylvisaker with the guests of honor, Daphne and Derek Johns.
Kiwi and Landon Hilliard. Averill and Kirsten Fisk.
Everybody turned up at the Vernissage cocktail party, a benefit for the Norton Art Museum in West Palm Beach. There were so many goodies from the beautiful furniture at Malletts, the Van Gogh at the Dickinson gallery, the Goedhuis’ wonderful display of Chinese artists, Messum’s paintings, and of course the dazzling “rocks” at Graff, Van Cleef, Richter’s, Sabbadini, Buccelatti, David Morris and Tiffany’s!

Among the group spotted opening night was Former New York Governor George Pataki with Ambassador Earle Mack, Paige Rense, John Loring, Ambassador Mary Ourisman and her husband Mandy, Mario Buatta, Harry and Gigi Benson, Lars Bolander and Nadine Kalachnikoff, Jacky and Rod Drake, Mai Harrison and more.
George Pataki, Henri Barguirdjian, President and CEO of Graff Holdings, and Wilbur Ross.
Nadine Kalachnikoff and Lars Bolander. Lee and Ali Hanley.
Laurence and Francois Graff.
George Pataki and Ambassodor Earle Mack. Maria and Bruce Bockmann.
We then headed to Robin and John Pickett’s beautiful penthouse with fabulous views of all of Palm Beach for a cozy little dinner. There is nothing sweeter than a small dinner and it is my favorite way to catch up with dear pals and family, as Robin is my sister!

She set up in their library a round table covered with luscious Porthault linens, such a charming and warm venue with its pine paneled walls and book shelves replete with sparkling Stanley Cup trophies won by John’s former team, the New York Islanders and Robin’s beautiful water colors. We dined on Beet and Watercress Salad, Sea Bass Coated in Pecans and Crème Brulee for dessert. Yum!!
The Pickett living room.
John and Robin Pickett with Richard LeFrak.
Robin Picket with her pooch, Miss America, and Dennis Shaughnessy Robin Pickett and Mario Buatta.
Hilary Geary Ross, Chuck Whittingham, and Robin Pickett.
The dinner table centerpiece.
The place settings. The terrace.
Wyndham Roberston and Richard LeFrak.
Mary Shaughnessy and John Pickett.
Next night we dropped into Lars and Nadine’s fabulous house for a cocktail party hosted along with famed designer Juan Pablo Molyneux. It is always such a treat to visit the Bolanders’ house as they have such incredibly great taste and they just added a pool house too. As they were toasting Bertrand du Vignaud of the World Monument Fund, the world turned up!
Lars Bolander at his cocktail party. Lars, bottled.
Karen Clarke and Britty Cudlip.
Cocktail party hostess Nadine Kalachnikoff and Mai Harrison. Muffy Miller and Ann Nitze.
Juan Pablo Molyneux and Wilbur Ross.
Friday morning, off to Parker Ladd’s  terrific “Author Breakfast Series” with Sir Harry Evans charming the audience while chatting about his riveting autobiography The Paper Chase, followed by James Gardner telling us about his new thriller, The Lion Killer,” a must buy.
Sir Harold Evans and James Gardner.
Sir Harold Evans celebrates.
Also had lunch at Club Colette, to take in the chic Bottega Veneta fashion show designed by the brilliant  and charming Tomas Maier. The luncheon, all for a wonderful cause, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (ten percent of sales went to the cause) was delicious too!
Bridget Koch and Kristy Clark. Sharon Hoge.
Gigi Benson, Jessie Araskog, and Felicia Taylor.
Jean Tailer. Darlene Jordan and Talbot Maxey.
Kelly Klein and Tomas Maier.
Tomas Maier.
Saturday night brought the Norton Museum: Bal Des Arts with its sensational Richard Avedon photography exhibition. You must see this wonderful exhibition.
Alex Donner entertains.
Michele Kessler and John Loring. Charles and Clo Cohen.
Iris and Carl Apfel.
"The Theater."
Black and white table with a touch of pink. Chocolate "cigars" as party favors.
Dinner tables at the Norton benefit.
The place setting.
Renee Morrison.
Sunday we headed to Jerry and Darlene Jordan’s fabulous Super Bowl party under a “see through” tent at their spectacular waterfront house. They set up huge screens everywhere, comfy places to sit and wonderful food. I cannot think of a more super way to see that game!

HILARY GEARY ROSS
On the grounds of Jerry Jordan's for his Super Bowl party.
Jerry Jordan and his guests.
Talbott Maxey and Karl Wellner. Muffy Miller and Hilllie Mahoney.
Darlene and Jerry Jordan with Bruce Bockmann.
Under the tent.
More from Palm Beach ... Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach recently honored Lighthouse International and the 2010 Chairman and Committee for POSH Palm Beach. The event featured a cocktail reception with designer Joanna Mastrioanni, who personally presented her new spring collection to guests that included Lighthouse International President Roger Goldman and Mark Ackerman, the foundation’s CEO, who flew from New York to Palm Beach especially for the reception.

POSH Palm Beach returns for its third year with an exciting line up of activities, including two designer sale events. Arlene Dahl is serving as Honorary Chairman for this year's events, along with a stellar group of stylish women who include Catherine Adler, Iris Apfel, Kathy Bleznak, Kim Campbell, Linda Donahue, Michele Kessler, Carla Mann, Talbott Maxey, Grace Meigher, Lucia N. Musso, Kit Pannill, Nancy Paul, Tricia Quick, along with Junior cochairmen, Blair Griffin and Frances Webster.
Lori Berg, Roger Goldman, and Melinda Porter. Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas.
Anka Paltiz and Jane Cummings. Ann Slater and Arlene Dahl.
Nancy Kezele, Talbott Maxey and Kit Pannill. Jacqueline Togut and Fern Portnoy Goldman.
Grace Meigher and Marc Rosen. Beth deWoody and Kate Gubelmann.
Mark Ackerman and Joanna Mastrioanni. Nancy Paull and Blair Griffin.
Following the reception at Saks, Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl hosted a small private dinner at Cafe Boulud in honor of Lighthouse International, Roger Goldman and Fern Tobin Goldman and Mark Ackerman to kick off the upcoming POSH PB dinner at Club Colette on Feb. 24 and the POSH PB sale on Feb. 26 and 27.

Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is dedicated to preserving vision and providing critically needed health care services to help people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss and blindness and enjoy safe, independent lives.
The Café Boulud Palm Beach menu.
Nancy Paul, Gideon Lewin, and Hope Kessler.
Robert Janjigian and Joanna Mastroianni. Arlene Dahl and Roger Goldman.
Marc Rosen, Iris Apfel, and Mark Ackermann.
Beth DeWoody and Carl Apfel. John Loring.
On February 24, 2010, a black-tie gala dinner dance will be held at Club Colette, and those who attend the gala will be treated to sneak peak and will be able to shop the POSH sale early.

The POSH Palm Beach sale
(which features clothing and accessories from socialites, celebrities, designers and fashionable retailers) will take place on February 26 - 27 at Royal Poinciana Plaza, located at 340 Royal Poinciana Way, in Suite 150. Tickets are $10, or $12 with valet parking. Sterling Palm Beach LLC, owner of the Poinciana Plaza, has generously donated the space for the sale. Posh Palm Beach has already gathered a stunning inventory of designer apparel and accessories from couture to casual. Donations, which are tax-deductible, continue to be collected.

For the first time in Palm Beach County, Lighthouse International
will will host a second POSH Plus sale event to be held at The Gilded Spa & Salon, located at 5540 PGA Boulevard, Suite 200 in Palm Beach Gardens. The Palm Beach Gardens sale runs from March 17 to 20. Natascha Fasnakis, owner of Gilded, has generously donated the space for the sale.


Last Saturday saw the passing of one of Palm Beach’s most prominent citizens Bill Ylvisaker at age 85. The following obituary came from The PoloZone.

William “Bill” T. Ylvisaker was a visionary business leader and a lifelong polo enthusiast whose dedication to each led to many accomplishments, both on and off the field.

As the CEO of Gould Electronics from 1967 until 1986, Mr. Ylvisaker transformed a $100 million battery manufacturer into a $2.3 billion diversified technology company. Mr. Ylvisaker’s transformation of Gould was a feat acclaimed by Business Week magazine in 1984 as an accomplishment most old-line manufacturers only dreamed of. 

“He turned his company, Gould Inc., into a bona fide force in high technology.  In just three years he bought nine high-tech companies – ranging from a minicomputer maker to a producer of custom integrated circuits – and shed all of Gould’s traditional operations, including bearings and piston, electrical equipment and finally its giant battery division.”

During his business career, he acquired more than 150 companies. Under Mr. Ylvisaker, Gould constructed a landmark corporate headquarters complex in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows.

In 1983, Mr. Ylvisaker lost a dearly beloved son and namesake which ultimately altered his lifestyle and business outlook. In 1986, he retired from Gould and established his own company, Corporate Focus, for the purpose of acquiring and operating privately held manufacturing and industrial service companies.

His inspiration of combining work with an athletic and cultural lifestyle was evident in the sprawling Gould Center, which featured research and training facilities, two multi-floor office buildings, restaurants, a health club, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and an outdoor running track which were surrounded by a meticulously groomed grounds, including a Henry Moore and Picasso sculpture.

1978 Gould took a route that many other major companies were pursuing, land development, and Gould purchased a ranch in rural Palm Beach County and began the development of Wellington, which would change the face of the community and make Wellington the dominant polo and equestrian center of the world.

Mr. Ylvisaker included in his plan the prestigious Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, a complex consisting today of 45 holes of golf, 14 polo fields, 26 tennis courts and thousands of homes.  The complex was sold in 1986 by Gould after 10 years of successful growth.

Ylvisaker was a gifted athlete and promoted an active lifestyle throughout his life. He captained both the polo and tennis teams at the Lawrenceville School of Lawrenceville, NJ, where he was a trustee for 20 years, and at Yale, where he won the Interscholastic Polo Championship.
Palm Beach Daily News.
During his lifetime in polo, Ylvisaker attained a very impressive 7-goal handicap as an amateur, winning three US Open Championships, the Gold Cup, two Coronation Cups, and numerous other national and international honors.

Ylvisaker is attributed with significantly heightening the interest in the sport of polo and dedicated his much of his life to this pursuit. In addition to founding the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, he also founded the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players. He served as chairman of the US Polo Association from 1970-1875. Ylvisaker was elected to the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994.

Mr. Ylvisaker’s extremely active involvement in business and sports never detracted from the love for his five children: Laurie Ylvisaker of Woodstock, New York; Mrs. Elizabeth Ylvisaker of Woodstock, New York; and son, Jon Ylvisaker of New York, New York. A son, William, and daughter Amy are deceased. He had four grandchildren, Maren, Brieze and Marlia Keeley of Chicago and Alastair James Ylvisaker of New York. His sister, Sara Heller of Westport, Connecticut passed away in 2001.

He had residences in Barrington, Illinoia, and at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. In his later years, during the offseason, he lived in  Middleburg, Virginia, where he owned Cotswold Farm for breeding horses.
Photographs by Hilary Geary Ross; Lucien Capehart (Posh).